Dental health is often 2 gifts wrapped into one. It’s both a checkup from your vet and screening for early prevention.
Why is dental health a gift? Let’s start by answering the following:
Does your pet have bad breath? It could be a sign of the following diseases:
- Kidney Disease
- Tooth abscesses
- Mouth Cancer
- Digestion Problems
- Liver Disease
Periodontal disease is the most common, affecting about 80% of dogs and 70% of cats by AGE 3!! It can lead to tooth and gum infections, painful chewing when eating, tooth loss and organ damage.
Organ damage? Yes, it comes when bacteria from an infected tooth root and gums access the blood stream. How to avoid gum disease?
Preventive management of gum disease includes brushing your dog or cat’s teeth, bringing them to the vet for routine check-ups and bloodwork, and feeding them a high-quality diet.
Many people believe that dry food is better than wet for a pet’s dental health. It is a myth that dry kibble removes plaque. Most kibble crumbles easily and offers no abrasive plaque removal. One of the best ways to break down the tartar that comes with plaque build up is by getting your dog these 3 things:
- Rawhides. Excellent way to keep tartar down in dogs. Choose wisely – one made with all natural ingredients (no preservatives, chemicals or dyes) and that is the right size for your dog. Be careful to only give your dog a rawhide when you can supervise him; you don’t want it splintering or falling apart and possibly causing his mouth to become injured.
- Deer Antlers. These should be antlers shed by deer naturally, instead of ones that have been butchered, for the best quality. Dogs enjoy antlers because they have a nubby texture. You’ll love them because they’re clean, odorless and typically don’t disturb a dog’s digestive tract. Inside each antler is bone marrow, which does wonders for removing tartar. They also last for a long time without splintering.
- Raw Bones. RAW is the key here, not cooked. Cooked bones will splinter easily and can really cut up your dog’s mouth and throat. Raw bones are more pliable and therefore won’t splinter as easily, though they don’t last as long either.
For Cats, get your cat used to regular brushing. Buy dental treats or small raw hides. Most of the time, a professional cleaning is needed to remove built up tartar.
Diet also plays a big part in dental health. Be sure you do the following:
- Feeding your pet a high quality diet.
- Do your research on the best foods for your pet. Ask your vet or a homeopathic vet, but be aware that all vets aren’t schooled in nutrition.
- Search the web for options. Did you know dill and parsley are herbs used to eliminate bad breath (just check with your vet to confirm this is safe for your pet)
- Learn how to read food labels. http://www.wikihow.com/Read-a-Pet-Food-Label
Your pets will thank you for years of healthy, happy and, comfortable smiles.